Making memories at home

I’ll admit, life around here is different with just two kids at home.  We’re hearing things like,”You guys pay way too much attention to me now,” and “Why are you suddenly so interested in coming to my games?  It’s weird,” and “Don’t you and dad want to go out tonight?  You never go out.  Please go out.”  It’s an interesting and new dynamic, no doubt!

It’s been a while since I’ve shared what we’re eating.  Here’s some of the highlights from the past few weeks:


Have a great week, everyone!  xo M.

Making memories at home

A meal for every occasion

Son going off to college the next day?  Carnitas tacos with all the fixings.

Taking your college son leftovers?  Ribs (275 degree oven for 4 hours & finish on grill with BBQ sauce), corn, green bean salad, strawberry poptart pie.

Last day of the pool for the summer season?  Burgers, potato salad, baked beans, grilled asparagus.

Prepping for a big race that you signed up for at the last minute?   Turkey burgers, sweet potato fries, green beans.

Kids want pasta and you want to try something new?  Ottolenghi’s zucchini and edamame pasta

Getting home at 8:30pm after errands and practice and carpools and everyone’s starving?  Fried rice with extra peas and eggs.


Just mom and dad home for dinner (because you only have two kids left at home and you feel like empty nesters already)?  Shrimp salad with avocados, tomatoes, pepitas, and lime dressing.

Planning weeknight meals for school days?  Grits and turkey sausage, salad.

Cleaning out the cupboard and found some goodies?   Farro salad with cauliflower and prosciutto one night, and quinoa chickpea salad with lemon tahini dressing another night.

Late summer garden bounty?  Grilled marinated eggplant, tomato chickpea salad, grilled skirt steak.

Cooling summer nights?  Outdoor dinner party!  Mediterranean appetizers, grilled swordfish, tomato pie, lentils & couscous, green salad with sprouts & lemon dressing, and dessert wines.

Enjoy!  xo M.


A meal for every occasion

Savannah and other new places

I traveled to Savannah earlier this month with a friend – my first time to this beautiful part of the country.  We had a wonderful few days touring Savannah, boating on the marsh, shell hunting on deserted islands, and generally enjoying the slow pace of life.  We ate real southern grits and shrimp caught the same day and sold for $3/pound.  It was fabulous!

After I got home, I tried to keep up with the shrimp-and-grits theme as long as possible.  We had grits with greens and poached eggs, roasted shrimp over salad, and fish tacos.  Great meals for hot summer days!

What’s on the menu board for this week?

Ana left this week to spend a year in Albuquerque, NM.  For more info on her adventure, please click here.   Feel free to donate to her cause and/or send encouraging notes.  I’m sure she’d love to hear from you.  We’ve never been to that part of the country, so we’re already planning a road trip next summer to visit.  Can’t wait!

I hope you’re enjoying your summer travels!  xo M. FullSizeRender 6



Savannah and other new places

Long summer days

Lots of good food in our house last week and coming up.  I’m taking advantage of the long days and lack of evening sports for now.  How’s your summer going?

Last swim meet of the summer season was yesterday morning.  I have to admit I’m a little sad it’s over, and a little sad to see my older kids aging out of it.  I do love these summer swim meets – the friendly competition and the awesome swim instruction and improvement – the walking tacos, not so much.

Time to get outside and enjoy these long hot days of summer!  xo M.


Long summer days

Middle Eastern feasts

The week started with a work pot luck – a Middle Eastern themed picnic by the golf course.  We had fattoush, smoky baba ganoush, hummus, grilled chicken, fruit salad, rosewater mint lemonade, and a dessert of apricots with yogurt and honey.  Then we went to the driving range and hit some golf balls.  All in all, it was a good day at the office!

Later that week, we enjoyed a neighborhood dinner party inspired by an Ottolenghi menu. We did it all – the lamb, baked rice, tomato pomegranate salad, cucumber salad, baba ganouj, and baked feta with tomatoes and homemade pita for starters.  I wasn’t brave enough to make the celebration cake for dessert, so I opted for saffron rosewater ice cream with cardamom cookies.  It was a good night!

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I had a lot of luck grocery shopping this week.  Fresh salmon was on sale all week for $9/pound.  Served it with a medley of fire roasted corn, edamame, tomatoes and avocados. The lamb kofta on the menu last week?  That was on sale too!  Grilled them and served with homemade tzatziki and salad.  Home alone one night – leftover saffron rice with grilled chicken and kale – and House of Cards.  Is anyone still watching House of Cards?  I’m so lost.  There’s hope on the TV watching horizon though – The Great British Baking Show is back!!!

Mind if I share some of my kids travels with you?  John got back from touring Athens and the Greek Islands this week.  What was the best thing you ate, John?  This donut fresh from some lady’s kitchen and a sandwich at the Frankfurt airport.  Okay…..

Meanwhile, Ana is in Colombia visiting family and discovering her roots while celebrating the fact she passed her exam and is now officially a BSN/RN.  Yay!!!

Stay healthy, stay active, stay happy!  xo M.

Middle Eastern feasts

Poolside menu planning

IMG_3533Menu planning was not really a hardship this weekend.  I sat poolside on a perfectly sunny day, catching up on a pile of cooking magazines while the kids swam.   Have I mentioned how much I love summertime?

  • Cobb Salad.  I love this salad because you can offer a variety of protein and flavor add-ins.  We used the last of the greens from the garden for ours.  How sad for now, but there’ll be more in the fall!
  • BBQ ribs, corn on the cob, watermelon with mint.  Not because I want to have my oven on all day, but because it’s a great rub recipe and I can throw them in a low oven at noon, then finish on the grill with BBQ sauce at 5 and be done for the day!
  • Salmon nicoise salad.  Another great salad idea.  Start with lettuce and top with Mediterranean flavors this time.
  • Steak and wedge salad.  Found some flat iron steak at WFM last weekend.  Super cheap and super tasty!  This week I went with grass fed sirloin.
  • Roast chicken, maybe with some brown rice and broccoli.
  • Green chile-turkey burgers.
  • Fattoush and lamb kebabs with mint lemonade.

John is traveling in Greece right now.  I love that the first (and only) picture I get  from him is a bakery window.  My kids know me so well….

Have a great week everyone!  xo M.

Poolside menu planning

Increasing our fluid intake

Summertime means we need to increase our fluid intake, right?  I’m starting with  iced coffee and gin and tonic.  How about you?   When it’s time for food, here’s what we’ve been eating at our house:

  • BBQ chicken with mediterranean couscous (olives, tomatoes, feta, olive oil & lemon dressing)
  • Sirloin steak, broiled, with black bean/corn/lime salsa (black beans, corn, scallions, cilantro, chile powder, then sour cream, lime zest, lime juice, s&p)
  • Pasta with sausages and red peppers (whole wheat spaghetti, Italian sausage, diced red peppers, can of diced tomatoes, parmesan cheese)
  • Chickpea falafel with pita and yogurt/cucumber sauce (chickpeas, parsley, egg, cumin, s&p in food processor, fry in skillet 2 min per side)

Just for fun we stopped at Shake Shack when we were in Baltimore last week, and I whipped up a chocolate cake just because it was Saturday.

Next up are these beauties:


Hope you’re having as much fun as I am!  xo M.

Increasing our fluid intake